Scottish Gemmological association
This week's meeting
27th September: Richard Taylor speaking on Colour Perception Testing
7.00p.m for 7.30p.m
Professor Taylor, as part of this interactive presentation, will enable you to compare and test your own colour perception ability in comparison to the rest of the audience, in part addressing the question “do you see the same colours as everybody else?” He will also give a preview of new research on colour communication systems and how reliable they are.
Colour communication creates an interesting challenge and a moral dilemma for the gem and jewellery industries, with many failed attempts attesting to the challenging nature of the problem.
This talk will allow active participation if wished.
We have also booked a table at Cafe Grande for those who want to come along after the talk.
Professor Richard Taylor has a wide ranging and extensive background in academic gemmology and related subjects. Until recently, he has been a lecturer at Birmingham City University. He has also had extensive involvement in retail gemmology, design, valuation and gem testing.
Currently Richard is concentrating on furthering his research studies together with independent consultancy and expert witness work.
UPCOMING SCOTTISH VISITS FROM GEM DEALERS
We have a few visiting gem dealers coming to various locations in Scotland over the next few weeks.
First up is Shangrila Gems:
Saturday 23th September
Park Inn Radisson, 1pm - 6pm
139 West George St, Glasgow, G2 2JJ
Monday 25th September
Ellesmere Room, Royal Scots Club, 2pm - 7pm
23-31 Abercrombie Pl, Edinburgh, EH3 6QE
After that we have Marcia Lanyon:
Sunday 8th October
The Royal Scots Club, 2pm - 4.30pm
29-31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6QE
Monday 9th October
Duncan of Jordanstone, 12 noon - 4pm
Matthew Building, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, DD1 4HT
Tuesday 10th October
Edinburgh College of Art, 10am - 1pm
Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF
Glasgow School of Art, 3.30pm - 6pm
Reid Building, 164 Renfrew Street, Glasgow, G3 6RQ
Wednesday 11th October
Glasgow Kelvin College, 11.30am - 2.30pm
123 Flemington Street, Springburn, Glasgow, G21 4TD
City of Glasgow College, 4pm - 6pm
City Campus, 190 Cathedral Street, G4 0RF
And after that we will have Marcus McCallum visiting his Scottish clients by appointment. However he will be giving a talk to us on the 18th of October at the Eric Liddell Centre, more details below, and he will be there from 6p.m before the meeting to welcome anyone who would like to catch up. <https://www.marcusmccallum.com/contact-us/>.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
18th October: Marcus McCallum on Included Quartz and other Gemmological Curiosities
Meeting 7.00p.m for 7.30p.m, but Marcus will be available from 6.00p.m
Marcus is well known to us as a highly reputable Hatton Garden gem dealer and also as a staunch supporter of our Annual Conference. Established in Hatton Garden in 1984, Marcus specialises in supplying rare and unusual stones to the trade. He also has a constantly-changing stock of pearls and beads.
One of his personal favourites, and something he usually carries a goodly supply of, is Included Quartz and that will feature strongly in his talk. However Marcus is a walking, talking mine of gem information, so who knows where our discussion might lead!
8th November: Maria Maclennan on Forensic Jewellery
This presentation will discuss some of the potential techniques for tracing and identifying jewellery recovered with human remains that may have relevance to forensic identification. Jewellery has personal, religious and cultural significance, with connection to both place and geographic region. Marks or characteristics such as inscriptions, hallmarks, engravings and serial numbers in addition to gemmological markings, can all prove useful in tracing an item’s origins or in narrowing the potential identity of a victim.
Maria Maclennan is an award-winning designer, researcher, facilitator and educator currently based in Dundee. Her current PhD research explores the interdisciplinary area of Forensic Jewellery - the first and currently only research of its kind in the world. Maria has previously worked alongside a number of high-profile organisations within government, law enforcement and education; deploying across the globe to assist with identifying the jewellery recovered after mass-disasters, and delivering talks worldwide. She has appeared on live television and radio broadcasts internationally discussing her development of the field of Forensic Jewellery. More info here -
29th November: Stuart Pool on Responsibly-sourced Gemstones
This talk will be about the mine-to-market journey of the gemstones of Sri Lanka, highlighting the artisanal mining and will also cover the range of stones that are found there.
Stuart Pool is a specialist in responsibly-mined and fully-traceable coloured gemstones, mainly sourced directly from mines in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Stuart works very closely with local mine owners to provide a "mine-to- market" service, from extracting the rough gem material and the cutting and polishing of gemstones, right up to the sale of gems to the end customer, both wholesale and retail.
Stuart's companies support charitable projects in both Sri Lanka and the UK and he is also committed to educating the widest possible audience about the issues within the jewellery sector. More info here -
In December we have no meeting scheduled, instead we will be gathering at the Salisbury Arms in Edinburgh on Tuesday the 12th for a pre-Christmas dinner celebration. Menu
PASt meetings and events
On the 30th of August we had a very informative workshop with Andrew Fellows of Birmingham City University.
"So you think you know your diamonds from your cubic zirconias and synthetic moissanites? From glass through to bismuth germinate, there are far more diamond simulants both on the market today and historically than many people realise. With a chance to see a range of these natural and synthetic stones up close, this evening looks at the timeline for these simulants, and offers advice on testing procedures, and how to differentiate them from true diamonds"
Andrew gave a short presentation and then turned us loose on the various and wide ranging examples of simulants her had brought along. There was even a very large CZ - 80mm. in diameter, 50mm in depth and weighing in at 3176ct! As ever with Andrew, we had a really enjoyable time and we are very grateful for his efforts on our behalf. We were also very happy to welcome his parents to our event.
A pdf of his presentation notes for this workshop can be found here -
2017 Annual General Meeting
Our AGM was held on the 9th of August, at the Eric Liddell Centre. We had several apologies from members unable to attend and the result was maybe a slightly smaller attendance than previous years, but a still very select group! Minutes will be issued in due course. Chairman's Report
This was followed by a very informative presentation by Carmen Garcia-Carballido on her recent trip to Australia. Judging by the photos and enthusiastic tales told by Carmen, she and her husband Peter had a truly memorable time visiting areas of Australia renowned for opal and sapphire production and meeting with several fascinating miners and characters along the way. She hopes this was the first trip of many!
Carmen also brought to the meeting a variety of samples of rough and finished material which she acquired on her journey. After the talk, we had an enjoyable time examining these.
Our sincere thanks and appreciation go to Carmen and to her husband Peter for his assistance.
lauriston Castle Outing
We had a very enjoyable afternoon out at Lauriston Castle. Our guide Mike did an excellent job of showing us the interiors and telling the history, not only of the castle itself, but also of some of the memorable owners. Everywhere we turned, there was something else to see - another visit might be called for!
Some photos to whet your appetite:
SGA award to BCU Gemmology and Jewellery Studies Degree graduating Student
On the the 13th of June, Birmingham City University hosted an Industry Evening and also made awards to individual students. Within the Jewellery Department, an award was presented to the graduating Gemmology and Jewellery Studies Degree student with the highest marks, Delyth du Plooy.
The prize, a place to attend the 2018 Scottish Gemmological Association Conference, was donated by the SGA. Alistir Tait, our Chairman, attended the event and seems to have enjoyed himself!
Our next Conference will be from the 4th to the 6th of May
and will be held at the Westerwood Hotel at Dullatur near Cumbernauld (a bit closer to Glasgow than Edinburgh!), from the 4th to the 6th of May. Transport links from Glasgow or Edinburgh are good. Detailed information will be available on our website from November and booking will open mid-December.
GemSet Competition 2017
This year's 1st Prize was awarded to Monika Nemanyte of Glasgow City College, for her hand made mixed metal, enamelled and gemset pendant.
To see the full list of those who received awards and photos of their submissions, please click here -
Happy Birthday Alan!
On Wednesday 22nd March we had an early surprise celebration of our President Alan Hodgkinson's 80th Birthday. Cake and fizz enjoyed by all who were there -
On Wednesday, 22nd March, we had Godfrey Fitton talking on The Natural History of Blue John.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable presentation and we are hoping to follow it up with a summer outing to Lauriston Castle. Details will follow shortly. Meantime, Godfrey has generously allowed us access to the Powerpoint presentation which accompanied his talk.
At February's meeting Alan Hodgkinson was our speaker for the evening and gave us the benefit of his observations and insights from this year's Tucson Show. As always his presentation was full of detail, accompanied with interesting anecdotes and, as ever, made those who weren't in Tucson this year wish they had been!
Alan also returned with The Hanneman Trophy, awarded for Contributions to the Literature of Gemology. Alan said he was honoured that the name Hodgkinson would be following in the footsteps of previous recipients including: Anderson, Webster, Liddicoate, Sinkankas, Pough, Arern, Bruton, Gubelin, Nassau and Koivula.
Our congratulations to Alan!
On the 25th January 2017, we were delighted to have Deborah Mazza talking on Idar-Oberstein cutting. As always, she showed great knowledge and enthusiasm for her subject.
Deborah discussed gem carving as an art form and also considered the question of skill/craftsmanship vs talent. Gem carving has been developed to a very high standard due to modern technology and particularly to the skill of Idar-Oberstein artists.
We were treated to an excellent presentation, mainly concentrating on three of the Idar- Oberstein cutters she has in-depth knowledge of and regards highly. To give a flavour of the content of her talk to those not able to attend, this link is to a video of Manfred Wild, one of the cutter she chose to discuss.
There were also some examples of Idar-Oberstein craftsmanship available to view and handle.
Our November meeting was a presentation from Sarah Steele of Ebor Jet Works in Whitby.
Sarah's enthusiasm, knowledge and experience came shining through and we were treated to an evening packed full of information, images and examples of related (and not so related!), materials, both in rough form and as finished pieces.
Our thanks to Sarah for the time and energy she put into this presentation and we look forward to hearing about her next exploits.
Our October meeting was a highly enjoyable talk given by Ian Combe on Scottish Sapphires. The meeting was well attended, as was our meal afterwards, and we all greatly appreciated Ian's efforts on our behalf. After recounting stories of his (and that of a few of our other members!) involvement with Scottish Sapphires we had the opportunity for a closer look at several cut stones, some rough and some finished jewellery.
We do have a couple of photos and this PDF originally printed by The Times (we think!) in 1995.
This PDF of Ian's presentation gives an outline of what he covered for those who were unable to attend.
Jade Talk and Workshop.
On Wednesday 28th September, Andrew Fellows presented us with a workshop on Jade. Andrew is well known within British Gemmology circles and is a regular attendee at our Conferences. He is a professional gemmologist, diamond-grader and ODL Tuition Manager at Gem-A in London.
After a short talk on the sources and different kinds of jade, we were able to handle and look closely at a selection of specimens from Andrew's personal collection. Our sincere thanks to Andrew for making the trip north to talk to us and we look forward to his next visit!
Our 'after meeting' suppers are getting popular. We had 16 attendees for our visit to Cafe Grande and there have been positive reports!
For those who were unable to attend the actual meeting, Andrew has generously given permission for us to include a pdf of the illustrations for his talk. To view, click here -
As many will be aware, last year several of our more intrepid members undertook a Gemmological Trip to Myanmar, or Burma as we often still call it.
For photos, please click here
We have sent out email reminders that our renewal Membership Fees are due. Once again we are holding the annual full membership charge at £25 and the student fee at £10. The 2017 Renewal Form can be found under the New Membership Application Form here - -
Payment can be made as follows, quoting your name as a reference:
Our preferred payment method is by Direct Banking to: The Scottish Gemmological Association, A/c No: 00202367, Sort Code: 83 26 02
Payment can also be made by Credit Card / Debit Card using Paypal to email@example.com
To pay by cheque, return the completed form along with your cheque to:- SGA Conference, c/o Alistir Tait, 116A Rose Street, Edinburgh. EH2 3JF.
To pay by bank transfer, or for further details, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send all correspondence to:
The Scottish Gemmological Association
c/o Alistir Wood Tait
116A Rose Street
EDINBURGH EH2 3JF